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Mice, anyone? They make tasty meal in Malawi

Mighty Tasty Mice
Joseph Mitengo, from Ntcheu District, Malawi, holds long sticks strung with mice while selling them alongside a road in Lilongwe, Malawi, on June 16.Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Cooked, salted or dried, field mice strung on sticks are sold as a popular delicacy in Malawi markets and roadside stalls.

The mice are hunted in corn fields after the harvest when they have grown plump on a diet of grains, fruits, grass and the odd insect. The most widely eaten species is known locally as Kapuku, gray in color and with a shorter tail than the more common rat.

Young boys have to be quick as they chase the mice through the fields and catch them. But local villagers have also come up with an innovative trap.

One method involves digging holes and putting clay pots filled with water into them. The mouth of the pot is smeared with fried corn husks. As some of the mice fight for the husks, they fall into the pot and drown.

Malawi, with a population of 12 million, is among the poorest countries in the world, with rampant disease and hunger, aggravated by periodic droughts and crop failure.